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2014 September-October

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1. MUNICIPAL REVENUE SHARING INCREASING $8.3 MILLION IN 2015-16

Saskatchewan municipalities will be receiving $8.3 million more in revenue sharing next year, thanks to an increase in Provincial Sales Tax (PST) revenues in 2013-14.

The 2015-16 Municipal Revenue Sharing total will represent a 108.4 per cent increase since 2007-08, up from the previous high of $264.4 million in 2013-14. Since 2011-12, Municipal Revenue Sharing has been based on one percentage point of PST and has provided the highest amount of unconditional funding shared with municipalities by the provincial government in the history of Saskatchewan.

Individual Municipal Revenue Sharing allocations to municipalities for the 2015-16 fiscal year will be announced in the March 2015 Budget.    

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2. ATTEND THE 2014 MAYOR’S HOUSING SUMMIT

Mayor Michael Fougere invites and encourages housing stakeholders, including non-profits, directly involved in the funding, planning, and policy decisions, to attend the 2014 Mayor's Housing Summit. Focusing on progress and practical solutions, participants will measure housing progress and work towards identifying housing solutions in the Regina region.

October 21, 2014
Regina, SK
Delta Regina Hotel

Key Highlights of the 2014 Mayor’s Housing Summit include:

  • Combination of presentations and expert question and answer panels.
  • Case examples of affordable housing solutions from other Canadian jurisdictions.
  • Afternoon interactive facilitated workshop session with all conference delegates.
  • Update on Regina’s current housing market as well as an economic and social update on Saskatchewan.
  • Discussions related to current and future housing needs and potential housing solutions for Regina.
  • Summit themes to include 1) housing progress, 2) affordable housing needs, 3) housing solutions.
  • Opportunities to meet and network with housing providers and other housing advocates from throughout Regina and region.

To ensure there is no barrier to attendance at the Summit, registered, non-profit housing organizations, to a maximum of two representatives from each organization, can register free of charge. 

Visit www.Regina.ca/MayorsHousingSummit to register today or for more information.

#2014MHS 

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3. DEBT LIMIT REGULATION CHANGES

Urban and rural municipalities are able to apply to the Saskatchewan Municipal Board (SMB) for a debt limit different from the limit set in section 161 of The Municipalities Act (i.e. the municipality’s own source revenues for the preceding year). Changes to The Municipalities Regulations recently approved by government set out the process for a municipality to seek its own debt limit.  Note: this is optional; municipalities are not required to seek an individual or unique debt limit. Many municipalities are capable of operating within the legislated limit. 

If a council is of the opinion its municipality requires a different debt limit in order to respond to existing and future needs, the process for doing so is found in section 38.3 of the regulations. This process involves a resolution of Council, public notice providing the amount of and reason for the debt limit, and application to the SMB. 

To view the regulations, visit www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/gazette/part2/2014/G2201437.pdf.  More information about the application can be obtained by contacting the SMB.

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4. GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO SUPPORT PROVINCIAL RINKS

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced that the Community Rink Affordability Grant will be offered in 2014. This is the third consecutive year for the popular program.

The Community Rink Affordability Grant provides funding to Saskatchewan’s municipal indoor skating and curling rinks. Communities, schools, non-profits and First Nations are eligible to apply to the program. Successful applicants will receive a grant of $2,500 per indoor ice surface. The grant may be used to help offset the cost of rink operations and minor capital upgrades.

The Government of Saskatchewan is committing $1.7 million to the grant program for 2014. More than $3.2 million has been invested into the program in the last two years. The program has benefited more than 380 communities across the province.

To register for the Community Rink Affordability Grant program, please complete the online form found on the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association’s website. 

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5. REGISTER FOR THE 2014 REGIONAL PLANNING FOR GROWTH SUMMIT

Community leaders and their staff are invited to engage in facilitated discussions and interactive presentations on the future of the Regina region. Hear from local leaders who have successfully developed and implemented regional visions and plans.

November 17 & 18, 2014
Regina, SK
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

Key Highlights of the 2014 Summit include:

  • Combination of presentations and expert Q&A panels addressing the needs and opportunities of our region.
  • Discussions to address urban and rural cooperation and voluntary regional arrangements.
  • Keynote address Clarence Louie, Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band and presentations from Robert Grow, Envision Utah and Line Robert, Island Coastal Economic Trust, Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth and more!
  • Focus on the overarching theme of “building the regional framework” for the Regina region by exploring possible opportunities for cooperation and identifying a vision for the Regina region that would benefit all municipalities through complimentary growth and servicing.
  • Key Summit themes include (1) Leadership (2) Practice and (3) Participation
  • Facilitated workshop session by Conroy Ross Partners on Day 2 to explore opportunities for regional cooperation.
  • Several marketing and sponsorship opportunities are available to help ensure the highest level of recognition and profile for your organization.

Join your colleagues throughout the region and learn from experienced leaders from jurisdictions who have successfully led and implemented regional agreements.

#plan4growth 

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6. RENEWAL OF THE NORTHERN CAPITAL GRANTS PROGRAM

The Northern Capital Grants Program has been renewed for another five-year term, until September 30, 2018.

Based on a review of the program and consultation with stakeholders, some changes to the program were made.  They include:

  • Increasing community contributions to projects from 10% to 20% of the total cost;
  • Requiring that an audited financial statement from the previous fiscal year be submitted with the application;
  • Requiring that projects be approved prior to the community incurring related expenditures;
  • Allowing project pre-design, design, and architectural consulting as eligible project expenses; and
  • Requiring that applications consider the necessity of asset insurance, and justify cases where insurance is considered unnecessary.

Changes to funding allocations have been made to reflect the current population of northern communities.

To apply for the program, northern municipalities and settlements are asked to continue using the existing application forms until such time as new forms are available on the Government of Saskatchewan’s website. When the new application forms have been posted, an email will be sent to all northern municipalities.

If you have any questions or require further clarification, please contact the Northern Municipal Services Branch at 1-800-663-1555 and ask to speak with the Manager of Financial Services.

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